12 days of fitness, Day 11

52 checkmarks to improve your results by 500%

What gets measured gets done.

There’s an old saying that what gets measured gets done. If your fitness actions are being measured, they’re much more likely to get done.

What should you measure?

I track workout consistency. I track every week that I meet my workout goal for the week–for me, it’s one workout per week. I have a sheet of paper with 52 weeks on it: it lasts one year, and it just takes a check mark per week.

As you start to accumulate a good track record, you won’t want to break it!

What gets measured and reported gets done much better.

Commitments that are purely internal are easily abandoned. If you can have an accountability partner who you have to report this to then you’re much more likely to follow though.

Say a friend calls you every Saturday to check if you’ve done your workout(s) for this week. But what’s going to motivate them to call you? One thing that can work is a good-natured penalty payment you give them whenever you don’t succeed. Say it’s $50 or $100–painful enough you don’t want to pay, but well worth the payment if a handful payments means you’ve been on track the entire year.

Of course, there are other methods…

You can hire a personal trainer, who is at the gym waiting for you every workout, and who charges you if you don’t show up. And there are other benefits to having a trainer or workout partner who can give you real-time feedback to improve your exercises during your workouts, and not just the fact that you’re doing your workouts. I could go on about the benefits a good trainer can provide, because this is what I do; but I’ll leave those for another time.

If you want to sustain your fitness progress beyond just a week or month, and be still maintaining your progress after a year…a decade…and a lifetime, then one key is to have an accountability and feedback system that ensures your consistency. Whether an incentivized friend or a hired trainer, put in place a system that operates independently of your willpower any given week. This will be much more effective over time.

To health and life,
Chad

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